Friday, March 20, 2009

Visualizing the cost of crime

The newest Atlantic magazine has an interesting article on visualizing the cost of crime in New Orleans by block. I find these two to be the most interesting of the maps:

According to the article, "the maps show the citywide density of prison admissions in recent years. As of 2007, incarceration rates had not returned to their pre-storm levels, but they had been rising". This might lead one to be slightly optimistic that crime may not return to pre-Katrina levels, but there is a problem:
Incarceration patterns had also shifted, reflecting the uneven return of the population. In the badly damaged Lower Ninth Ward, for example, prison admissions were down by 75 percent, though that’s hardly cause for celebration: the district’s population had fallen by 85 percent since 2000.
The crime we are seeing in these maps are not weighted by block population. So, given that the population of New Orleans is much lower than pre-Katrina still, the problem may be worse than it looks, we don't know.

In any case, its an interesting visualization technique.

1 comment:

Colin D said...

While not weighted for changes in population, you may find SpotCrime's data set interesting.